Minnesota Election Notebook: GOP to remove photo of abuse victim

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Republican Party on Thursday agreed to remove a photograph of a young abuse victim from a television commercial accusing Democratic...

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Republican Party on Thursday agreed to remove a photograph of a young abuse victim from a television commercial accusing Democratic
Gov. Mark Dayton of making it easier to mistreat children.
“The ad is currently being revised and an edited version will begin airing as soon as possible,” the party said in a statement when a controversy arose over the commercial featuring the case of 4-year-old Eric Dean, whose stepmother is serving time after being convicted in his death.
The GOP decision came after the boy’s grandmother, Yvonne Dean of Starbuck, asked Republican Chairman Keith Downey to remove references to the boy’s case from the ad.
The Pope County boy died in 2013 after several reports about abuse.
The Republican television spot showed a story and photo of the boy from the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune. The ad said about the governor that it is “downright horrifying that he signed a law making it more difficult to investigate maltreatment cases. ... It is time to stop the incompetence. Stop Mark Dayton.”
After aides said Dayton would talk about the Dean case and other issues at a midday Thursday event, he avoided the media by leaving the back way. He earlier had said that supporters of the law did not think it would make abuse cases more difficult to investigate.
The Democratic governor’s opponent, Republican Jeff Johnson, supported Downey’s decision to remake the commercial.
“My heart goes out to Eric’s family as they grieve his loss,” Johnson said. “This little boy’s picture should never have been used in an ad.”
The GOP statement said information in the ad was true, but after talking to the grandmother, “Downey apologized for not contacting her before the ad was produced. We will honor her request and will redact the Star Tribune’s picture of Eric Dean from their article as it appears in the ad.”
Anti-DFL ads begin

The Republican-leaning Minnesota Jobs Coalition is running cable television commercials against Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party incumbents in eight state House districts.
In those against rural legislators, the ads say the targeted incumbents “voted with big city liberals to bring Obamacare to Minnesota.” Many commercials indicate the Democrats voted for “a new $90 million luxury office building” for senators.
The coalition is working to elect a Republican House majority after
Democrats have controlled the House, Senate and governor’s office the past two years.
“One-party DFL control of state government has been a disaster for Minnesota families and businesses,” said Ben Golnik, chairman of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund.
Democrats targeted in the ads are Reps. Roger Erickson of Baudette, John Ward of Baxter, Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake, Andrew Falk of Murdock, Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park, Barb Yarusso of Shoreview, Jason Isaacson of Shoreview and Will Morgan of Burnsville.

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